A group of six of us hired Jus Sail on Wednesday 22 January. On board were James and Pepsi, the owners, and O’Brien, one of their recently-graduated trainees from their Sailing School. The yacht was lovely and very special. Sailing it was like sailing a very large dinghy with a tiller rather than a wheel. The boat had canvas sails and was very comfortable on board.
From the jetty in Rodney Bay, it is very easy to get on and off as the decking is practically level with that of the jetty, just a step-over. This is easier than your average yacht!
Hospitality was excellent with Pepsi keeping us supplied with drinks ranging from water, natural coconut water, beer, rum punch and snacks throughout the day. Lunch was very fresh and delicious. Wine was served as an option with lunch. Pepsi refused to give me the recipe for her salad dressing (boo!) The rum punch was excellent, although I prefer more nutmeg !)
The boat was kept very tidy with baskets for everything, from one to put shoes in, one for sunglasses, cream etc, some for food. Bags were kept below deck but Pepsi would fetch everything you needed. Shade was provided by the cover at the stern of the boat and the seating was clever. There was room for our four friends in the stern lwho were looking very comfortable on the sofa. The chairs were clever in that they had spring-up backs which supported the back. James kept a watchful eye on the helming of the guests and gave gentle guidance to both the guests and O’Brien when required. My husband had a ball helping to crew and, for once, we got a proper safety briefing prior to setting sail. We sailed rather than motored as much as possible and the boat was beautiful to handle.
James and Pepsi and O’Brien are all very knowledgeable both about the boat and St Lucia’s history, past and present. They are very dedicated to environmental protection and this extends to the way various things on the boat are handled. We dropped off at Anse Cochon for snorkeling. My only caveat is the steep (for me) ladder at the side which one has to climb up after snorkeling. I am not that fit and had two attempts. James and O’Brien were on hand to help me on the final stage of the “ascent” and, after that, no problems.
We had great weather, a mixture of sunshine and wind, around force 4-5/6 which got the boat moving nicely. We got back to Pigeon Island just in time for a great sunset at which point, shots of Admiral Rodney rum and black cake was served. Delicious!
Hiring Jus Sail is not that cheap, but I would highly recommend this day out as a relaxed and very interesting way to experience sailing in St Lucia. This day out is all about experiencing the boat rather than using it as a means to get somewhere. If all you care about is whooping down the coast as fast as possible and buzzing resorts and having an adrenalin shot, go for an operation like “Joe Knows” but for a true, classical and memorable sailing experience, - with speed dictated by the wind, this is hard to beat. I loved it!
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